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Apr 28, 2021

Why We Love Douglas Fir

Tags: Project Inspiration

At Marks Lumber, you'll find that we deal exclusively with Douglas fir for our premium wood products, and there's a good reason for that. With a particular focus on using locally grown, inland Douglas fir, our wood products are high quality and attractive for indoor and outdoor use. Douglas fir provides excellent strength and natural weather resistance, which is why it's one of our favorite materials to work with. There's a lot to love about Douglas fir, so let's dive into a bit of background on this particular species and just what makes it so unique.

About Douglas Fir

Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) is hearty and can grow in a variety of conditions, from sea level to high elevations. This makes it a readily available choice for many locals looking to find lumber in their area.

As an evergreen tree, the living specimen keeps its leaves, more commonly known as needles, year-round. Its seeds are stored in cones before they are pollinated and distributed by the wind.

Local inland Douglas fir in Montana generally reaches heights between 100 and 120 feet, whereas the coastal Douglas fir commonly reaches 150 feet. This is due to the colder climate of the Inland Northwest, leading to an overall slower growing season. However, while the slow growth of inland Douglas fir makes it difficult to cut those larger pieces of lumber and timber, the tight grain is said to create a stronger, sturdier piece of lumber.


The unique grain patterns and swirls of Douglas fir can be quite striking, but in general, this species offers a traditional look that brings to mind cabins and woodsy settings. Tight knots add to this cozy feeling.

The color ranges from the white-to-yellow hue that is typical of the sapwood and a darker, reddish-brown that makes up the heartwood. This range of warm tones brings a natural, cozy look to a wide array of different building projects.


While Douglas fir is classified as softwood, that doesn't necessarily mean it feels soft to the touch or lacks durability. In fact, some softwoods are actually harder than certain hardwoods. Put simply; softwoods are conifers—cone-bearing trees—while hardwoods are flowering or fruit-bearing trees. Classifications aside, you don't need to worry about Douglas fir being too soft for your project.


Douglas fir is the highest-rated North American softwood in strength-to-weight ratio and stiffness, making it an ideal building material for both interiors and exteriors. Douglas fir is also less susceptible to shrinkage than many other species.

The team at Marks Lumber is on hand to support your next project with high-quality Douglas fir products. From circle sawn timbers to flooring and siding, we have you covered. Check out our full range of products for inspiration for your next project.

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